AUC Unity: Morris Brown
By Shatondra Caldwell
With their recent filing of bankruptcy and foreclosure, Morris Brown College fights to stay alive in the Atlanta University Center. Trerronce Estell II, a Morris Brown alumnus stated “After losing our accreditation we were somewhat black balled from the Atlanta University Center from the beginning.”
In 2002, Morris Brown College lost their financial accreditation due to mismanagement of finances by their former President Dolores Cross. This situation caused the college to lose thousands of students and as of Aug. 26, 2012, 50 students were enrolled to the historical black college.
Morris Brown College was one of the first colleges a part of the Atlanta University Center, or the AUC, but today is not involved in any unity events with their sister institutions. “When the situation hit, other HBCUs as far as Howard University came to help but not our own AUC brothers and sisters,” stated Estell II.
Former 2011 Miss Morris Brown College, Janesha Irwing stated “We are still thriving and even with 50 students our unity with one another keeps us strong.”
Though many students left Morris Brown, many tried to stay within the AUC but were rejected or had to start from the beginning as freshman. The students that attended Morris Brown during this hardship were only paying as much as 4,000 dollars a year to attend. Because of the lost of financial accreditation, the students were not able to receive grants, loans or scholarships from the school first hand. Students must go to a bank and take out their own private loans.
Many students who attend AUC schools are not informed of Morris Brown College. This past summer’s Operation Olive Branch, an AUC unity event for incoming freshman, did not include Morris Brown College. “We are not invited to the AUC “Operation Olive Branch” anymore even though we started the entire unity event,” stated Estell II.
Morris Brown College is slowly but surely trying to pull the pieces back together. The process for the reconstruction of an entire school’s financial status, student body growth and overall reputation will take more than unity but a sacrifice from everyone to be make sure HBCUs stay relevant in America.
Terronce Estell II